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MODIS Characterization Support Team (MCST)

The MODIS Characterization Support Team (MCST) is dedicated to the production of a high quality MODIS calibration product. MCST developed the L1B algorithm and all parameters necessary to run the code, and develops the quality assurance and verification of L1B product enhancements. The MCST flight operations team supports MODIS operations on orbit through command and control of the instrument. Responsibilities include developing MODIS operations scenarios, creating the operations database, monitoring instrument health and safety, and operating the MODIS on-orbit.

Instrument Operations Team

The purpose of the MODIS Instrument Operations Team (IOT) is to plan, schedule, and monitor MODIS activities. The MODIS Instrument Operations Team schedules a daily set of Operational Activities using the Instrument Support Toolkit (IST) software package provided by the EOS Flight Operations Segment.


MCST is dedicated to the production of a high quality MODIS calibration product. This product is a precursor to every geophysical science product. MCST works for the Science Team Leader and is responsible for developing and maintaining the calibration product (L1B algorithm).

L1B Product

Current L1B LUTs: Terra: Version Aqua: Version

Latest News

End of Collection 5 Processing


MODIS Collection 5 data products will no longer be produced after the end of March 2017. Collection 6 data products were introduced in 2012 and are available for the entire mission record for both Terra and Aqua MODIS.
For information on Collection 6 improvements over Collection 5, see
For information on MODIS data products, see

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MCST receives NASA Group Achivement Award


Congratulations to the members of the MODIS Characterization Support Team on receiving the 2015 NASA Group Achievement Award "for 20 years of expert and dedicated characterization of MODIS instruments on Terra and Aqua leading to unprecedented achievement in understanding Earth processes."

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Aqua Band 1-4 EV-based RVS Implemented in Forward Production


Following several science tests and meetings with representatives from the science user community, the updated RVS algorithm for Aqua MODIS bands 1-4 is now in forward production. The change was implemented starting with granule 2016209.0000 (July 27, 2016 00h:00m:00s). This change removes the need for de-trending corrections, previously applied to Land products. Land products should not see a change in the data trends. Atmospheric products that include inputs from these bands may see a step change at the implementation time.

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Aqua Data Interruption, Corrected


Aqua MODIS data processing experienced issues from August 8-9, 2016 related to one of the on-board clocks resetting. The issue has been resolved and previously affected data is now available. Please see the link below for more information:

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Aqua Band 1-4 EV-based RVS Status


MCST organized a meeting with land/atmosphere/ocean discipline representatives to discuss the implementation of Aqua bands 1-4 EV-based RVS in forward C6 production (2016/06/29)

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Some Information about MODIS

MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths (see MODIS Technical Specifications).

These data will improve our understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere. MODIS is playing a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.

MODIS was launched on the EOS Aqua spacecraft on Saturday, May 4, 2002 at 09:55 GMT. MODIS Aqua "First Light" was achieved when the MODIS Nadir Aperture Door opened on June 24, 2002 at 23:22:48 GMT. The Aqua MODIS instrument began taking data using side-B electronics. For a complete look at the EOS-PM/ Aqua mission, see

MODIS was launched on the EOS Terra spacecraft on Saturday, December 18, 1999 at 18:57 GMT. MODIS Terra "First Light" was achieved when the MODIS Nadir Aperture Door opened on February 24, 2000. The Terra MODIS instrument began taking data using side-A electronics. For a complete look at the EOS-AM/ Terra mission, see To read more about MODIS visit